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Briefly Noted 100

Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and the Representation of American Culture edited by barbara b. oberg and harry s. stout oxford university press, 230 pages, $35 Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards have frequently been studied as competing character types in American culture: with Franklin . . . . Continue Reading »

After Hell

Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives They Made in America by william b. helmreich simon & schuster, 348 pages, $23 One of the more controversial events in our cultural life this year has been the opening of Washington’s Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust was not an American . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted 99

No Longer Exiles: The Religious New Right in American Politics edited by michael cromartie ethics and public policy center, 153 pages, $18.95 To list the participants in the discussions from which this book emergedis to recommend the book most highly: George Marsden, Grant Wacker, Robert Booth . . . . Continue Reading »

God in a World of Gods

In North America, and increasingly in Europe, it has become a truism to say that the present situation is marked by pluralism, or multiculturalism. Some truisms happen to be true; this one certainly is. Nor is there any great mystery as to how this situation has come about. It is the result of . . . . Continue Reading »

Jewish Ethics Engaged

Jewish Social Ethics by david novak oxford university press, 252 pages, $39.95 The renowned scholar of Talmudic Judaism, Jacob Neusner, once characterized the divergence between first-century Judaism and nascent Christianity as fundamentally a divergence of locale. That is, each religion”working . . . . Continue Reading »

Jesus Through the Eyes of John Rawls

Of late I have been reading John B. Meier’s A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus . I have enjoyed it, not least because the book is clearly and carefully written, even if the Jesus who emerges from these pages is not exactly the “startling” figure promised by the dust jacket. But I . . . . Continue Reading »

Fighting on Three Fronts

Jewish Polemics by arthur hertzberg columbia university press, 259 pages, $27.95 Jewish Polemics is a collection of essays written over the past ten years or so by the well-known American rabbi, professor, and communal leader Arthur Hertzberg. The title of the collection is aptly chosen: anyone who . . . . Continue Reading »

The Scholar as Polemicist

Judaism: Between Yesterday and Tomorrow by hans küng, translated by john bowden crossroad, 753 pages, $39.50 Readers of Catholic maverick Hans Küng’s works have come to expect of him encyclopedic volumes displaying both prodigious scholarship and sharp polemic. And in these respects, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted 93

The Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash edited by Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky Schocken, 897 pages, $75  Anthologies are frequently described as “treasure troves” of this or that. But The Book of Legends really is a treasure trove of . . . . Continue Reading »

Judaism and Postmodernity

Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew by eugene borowitz jewish publication society, 319 pages, $24.95 Eugene Borowitz, the leading theologian associated with the Reform movement of American Judaism, has written an important and ambitious book. Renewing the Covenant: A Theology . . . . Continue Reading »

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